KIEV (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai with a six-member delegation arrived in Kiev on Sunday to assist the Malaysian team in a special operation on the MAS flight MH17 crash in east Ukraine on Thursday.
The delegation which includes Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof and investigators arrived at Kiev International Airport at 6.15pm Malaysian time.
Liow's urgent visit to Ukraine is to get access to the crash site due to the Ukrainian government's claim that the Russian-backed terrorists were obstructing the launch of an investigation into the air crash, which has also hampered the Malaysian special investigation team.
The head of the special investigation team, Khairil Hilmi Mokhtar, MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Malaysian ambassador to Ukraine Chuah Teong Ban and several officials were among those who welcomed Liow at the airport.
Liow is scheduled to meet with Ukraine's transport minister and foreign minister for discussions.
He and the investigation team will also hold a meeting with the National Bureau of Accidents, Ukraine, which has formed a special commission to investigate the incident.
Khairil Hilmi said yesterday there was no safe passage yet for the Malaysian special investigation team to visit the crash site at Grabovo, approximately 750km from Kiev.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border, on Thursday night.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was carrying 298 people - 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
Foreign media reports said the aircraft was shot down but until today no one has claimed responsibility for the incident.